Hatsan Striker Junior Rifle
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- Last updated: 30/01/2017
Turkish manufacturer Hatsan has been riding high of late, producing rifles and marketing them under their own brand name, as well as producing guns for other companies. With their full sized Striker model currently selling well, it has to be a clever move to capitalize by releasing a dedicated model for Juniors, and the Hatsan Edgar Brothers Striker Junior is the result.
This joint venture with Edgar Brothers, Hatsan’s ofﬁcial UK importer and distributor, offers youngsters new to the sport, a scaled down version of this popular break-barrel model, and with an impressive list of features, I was keen to get one through for testing.
Quality On a Budget
At approximately £120, the Hatsan Edgar Brothers Striker Junior (hereafter known as Striker Junior, given the length of that name!) is obviously aimed at the budget end of the market. However, these days, Hatsan have become the masters of cutting costs without losing too much in the way of performance, and this riﬂe is a case in point.
A composite/ synthetic stock helps enormously in this area (minimizing weight into the bargain) and the one ﬁtted to this Striker Junior displays plenty of design ﬂair in the moulding. Youngsters like to be trendy in my experience, and black synthetics are all the rage, so this Hatsan rates well on that score. A pleasingly angular fore-end, coupled with a well deﬁned cheek piece, is a good start, along with plenty of crisply moulded panels of chequering and a rubber butt pad. Where this riﬂe really scores though, is with the shortened length of pull, which should gain it many fans from the junior ranks. It’s the most common fault of many riﬂes, that there length and sheer mass are just too much to handle by pint sized enthusiasts; so rescaling dimensions to suit, is clearly the way to go.
Break barrel designs are arguably the best option for junior shooters too, since the no-nonsense layout is satisfyingly fast in operation, by virtue of its simplicity. Just snap down the barrel, feed a pellet into the breech, then snap the barrel back up and closed. With shots available just as quickly as that operation can be repeated, it’s little wonder that the humble break barrel still enjoys such popularity - especially among youngsters new to the sport.
Safety With Springers
A few basic safety rules do exist with all break-barrel airguns however, and should be made clear to any young shot before the action begins. Firstly, make sure that ﬁngers are kept outside of the trigger guard and away from the trigger until ready. In addition, regardless of built in ‘auto’ safeties, always ensure that the barrel is held ﬁrmly at all times throughout the cocking stroke - just in case. This ensures that the barrel cannot swing back up accidentally, under spring pressure, either catching ﬁngers in the breech, or just buckling or bending the barrel in the process. Either is a disaster, and liable to send the junior shot running to a different sport.
Open sights come as standard with this Hatsan, and since they are of the ﬁbre optic variety, I was eager to give them a whirl, before ﬁtting glassware. A front red dot sits within twin green elements at the rear, and in relatively low light, the sight picture still looks reasonable. Over 10yds, groups the size of a penny were the norm, whilst over 20yds, around 1.5 inches was par for the course. Over 20-25yds incidentally, and the open sights become increasingly awkward to use, which is about the norm in my experience.
Fitting a scope is fairly popular on whatever model these days, given the incredible bargains that exist where optics are concerned; and if that’s the route taken with this Striker Junior, then the manufacturers are one step ahead, since they supply a small arrestor block which simply screws into the top of the receiver.
Trigger wise, don’t expect too much here, since this is not an area for which Hatsan are renowned. The unit ﬁtted to the Striker is fairly vague and spongy, and despite a supposedly adjustable mechanism, I couldn’t really improve upon the factory setting. Bear in mind the asking price though, and something has to give at the manufacturing stage.
Power output is pretty low with this model, and my test sample came in even lower than the listed ﬁgures. Hatsan claim 5-6ft/lbs, and my chronograph showed around 4ft/lbs with a variety of pellets, but this will almost certainly increase as the mechanism ‘runs in’. However, at the relatively close ranges over which these guns will be used, an odd ft/lb is neither here nor there, as power becomes largely irrelevant. What does matter is a modicum of accuracy, and on that score, as already mentioned, this Hatsan doesn’t disappoint.
When cocking this Hatsan, it becomes clear that the cocking stroke has been reduced, so the barrel moves through a shorter arc effectively. That said, I still found more resistance and effort required to compress the mainspring, than I would have expected; especially given the very low energy levels generated. Attention to detail is surprising in other areas though, and the adjustable breech bolt, complete with locking screw, is a nice touch indeed.
A Sense Of Proportion
So with just a few minor caveats, this Hatsan Edgar Brothers Striker Junior manages to offer the younger shot, a perfectly scaled down riﬂe that comes bristling with features. Accuracy is reasonable, all in a manageable format, and for that reason, it gets my thumbs up. GM
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